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  1. #1

    Default Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

    Summergarden 2005: New MoMA, New Music
    Free concerts in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden
    Sundays, July 17–August 21, 8:00 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971 to enhance the artistic life of New York City during the summer. In keeping with MoMA's history of presenting jazz and classical music in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, this year's Summergarden series welcomes the participation of two constituents from Lincoln Center—The Juilliard School (Joel Sachs, artistic director) and Jazz at Lincoln Center, with concerts on alternating Sundays. New MoMA, New Music presents six evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night.

    Juilliard concerts are performed by current students and recent graduates of the Juilliard School, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs, who has assembled three distinctive programs of contemporary compositions, all of which are enjoying their New York, United States or world premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center selected three leading jazz artists whose concerts will emphasize original works, with at least one world premiere.

    Free tickets are distributed to the public at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the concert at The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden gate on Fifty-fourth Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. A Ticket is required for entry. The sculpture garden opens at 7:00 p.m., and concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. and run approximately one hour to ninety minutes. The garden closes at 10:00 p.m. Please note that a limited number of advance tickets will be available to members no more than one week in advance of each concert (limit two per membership) at the lobby information desk during Museum gallery hours. Seating is limited, unreserved, and on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event of rain, concerts will take place inside the Museum in The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby—use the Fifty-fourth Street entrance—and doors will open at 7:30.

    Summergarden 2005 Concert Schedule

    July 17

    Juilliard Concert I: Music for Piano and Strings

    Miranda Cuckson, violin; Christina Wheeler, violin; Glenda Goodman, viola

    Claire Bryant, cello; Philip Fisher, piano

    Benjamin Yusupov (Tajikistan/Israel, b. 1962)

    Quintet (1996)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Roberto Sierra (Puerto Rico/U.S., b. 1953)

    Kandinsky (2003)

    New York premiere

    Franghiz Ali-Zadeh (Azerbaijan, b. 1947)

    Impromptus for Piano Trio (2004)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Gerald Barry (Ireland, b. 1952)
    Piano Quartet No. 1 (1992)
    Western hemisphere premiere

    Paul Schoenfield (U.S., b. 1947)
    Carolina Réveille (1995–96)
    New York premiere

    July 24

    Jazz: Myra Melford's The Tent

    Myra Melford, piano and harmonium; Chris Speed, clarinet and tenor; Cuong Vu, trumpet; Stomu Takeishi, bass guitar; Elliot Humberto Kavee, drums

    Featuring compositions inspired by Ms. Melford's music studies in India as well as a new piece written in honor of MoMA’s Sculpture Garden.

    July 31

    Juilliard Concert II: Music for Mixed Ensemble

    Members and alumni of The New Juilliard Ensemble: Shawn Wyckoff, flute; Moran Katz, clarinet; Jennifer Rhodes, bassoon; Yuri Namkung, violin; Bridget Fitzgerald, viola; Yves Dharamraj, cello; Paul Kwak, piano; Michael Caterisano, percussion; Joel Sachs, conductor

    Zoltán Jeney (Hungary, b. 1943)

    Önidézetek (Self-Quotations, 1991)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Snorri Sigfus Birgisson (Iceland, b. 1954)

    In a Magnetic Field (1996)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Paul Desenne (Venezuela, b. 1959)

    Trio for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano (1999–2001)

    New York premiere

    Vu Nhat Tan (Vietnam, b. 1970)

    Nhip Don Nhip Kep (Simple Meter, Compound Meter, 2001–02)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky (Uzbekistan, b. 1963)

    ASCH (2004)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Ushio Torikai (Japan/U.S., b. 1952)

    Fuse VI (2001)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Chen Yi (China/US, b. 1953) like a raging fire... (2001–02)

    New York premiere

    August 7

    Jazz: Greg Osby's Sound Theatre

    Greg Osby, alto saxophone; Liberty Ellman, guitar; Megumi Yonezawa, piano; Matt Brewer, bass

    Saxophonist Greg Osby and his acoustic chamber-jazz ensemble, give a rare performance. Amongst the several original works featured, is the world premiere of “Cityscape Oasis”, composed exclusively for The Museum of Modern Art.
    August 14

    Juilliard Concert III: Music for String Quartet featuring the Attacca Quartet

    Attacca Quartet: SoJin Kim and Amy Schroeder, violins; Gillian Gallagher, viola; Andrew Yee, cello

    Suren Zakarian (b. Armenia, 1956)

    In statu nascendi—Seven Miniatures for String Quartet (1996)

    New York premiere

    Valentin Bibik (Ukraine/Israel, 1940–2003)

    String Quartet No. 5, Op. 150 (2002)

    World premiere

    Eric Tanguy (France, b. 1968)

    String Quartet No. 2 (1999)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Akira Nishimura (Japan, b. 1953)

    String Quartet No. 3, “Avian” (1997)

    Western hemisphere premiere

    Joel Spiegelman (U.S., b. 1933)

    Fantasy No. 1 for String Quartet (1963)

    New York premiere

    August 21

    Jazz: Henry Threadgill's 3 + 3

    Henry Threadgill, alto saxophone, flute; Chris Hoffman, cello; Greg Heffernan, cello; Ruben Kodheli, cello; Jose Davila, tuba; Elliot Humberto Kavee, drums

    A new ensemble directed by one of the leading, creative composers and reedmen of our time.
    Summergarden is made possible by The Ethel P. Shein Fund for Music at MoMA, which is generously funded by Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, and Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder. Additional support is provided by Paul D. Shein; Senator and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller IV; Nicholas, Benjamin, and Kate Shein; Richard L. Tooke; Carol E. Coffin and Tom Parrett; and Elizabeth Pozen.

    The Union Square Hospitality Group Gelato Bar is providing fresh ice creams and sorbets from Il Laboratorio del Gelato. In addition, wine, beer, and bottled water are available for purchase.

    Wheelchair entrance to the sculpture garden requires an escort through the Fifty-third Street entrance. Ask a staff member at the gate and they will give directions or arrange for an escort.

    Cameras and Recording Devices
    No photography, audio, video or is permitted during performances.

    Smoking is not permitted in the sculpture garden or in the Museum.

    Access to Museum
    The galleries are closed during Summergarden. Restrooms are open.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown

    Default "On Site: New Architecture in Spain" at MoMA

    A Survey of Spain, Architects' Playground

    Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

    Exhibition Review | 'On Site'

    NY Times
    Feb. 10, 2006

    IS there any show more overdue than a major one about contemporary Spanish architecture?

    For years now, architects and planners have been jetting to places like Barcelona, Bilbao and Mérida in an attempt to decipher one of the great architectural success stories in modern history. The endurance of Spain's grand experiment is remarkable. It started, you could argue, during the final years of Franco's rule in the early 1970's, as Spain began to awaken from the isolation of a four-decade dictatorship. It began to flower in earnest after 1986, when the country joined the European Union, and money began flowing into large-scale public works projects.

    Since then, Spanish architects have produced architecture of unusual depth, often with a firm connection to the land, a sense of humility and a way of conveying continuity with the past while embracing the present. As the building boom unfolds, international talents pour into the country to share in the creative foment.

    Roland Halbe
    Jean Nouvel's Agbar Tower in Barcelona is
    one of the more familiar images.

    "On Site: New Architecture in Spain," which opens Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art, skates rather lightly over this back story. Packed with pretty images and elegant models, the exhibition lacks the scholarly depth you might have hoped for on a subject that has mesmerized architects and planners since the 1980's. Also missing is the kind of basic information — historical background, a clear sense of a building's context, the architects' ages and nationalities — that would make the show accessible to a broad audience.

    What's more, the show's nationalist subject is a tricky one. A more tightly focused exhibition on, say, Catalonian architecture might have made a more compelling story, given the region's longstanding and determined struggle to assert its cultural independence from Madrid. And the starting date for the work on view — 1998 — has no particular resonance in Spain's recent architectural history.

    But if the show feels undercooked, there is much to see. The final exhibition organized by Terence Riley, who steps down next month as the Modern's chief curator of architecture and design, it includes the work of 47 architectural firms, many still largely unknown outside Spain. It's heartening to encounter so many young talents, some still in their 30's. They breathe life into the show just as you begin to despair of finding something to sink your teeth into.

    Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
    The Hotel Habitat, in Barcelona, designed by Enric Ruiz-Geli, is draped in a steel web
    of photovoltaic cells that illuminate at night.

    "On Site" opens with two striking images: an enormous photograph of the facade of José Rafael Moneo's town hall extension in the southern city of Murcia, completed in 1998, and a similarly large image of the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue. Mr. Moneo, 68, and Mr. Miralles can be read as two halves of a split personality. Based in Madrid, Mr. Moneo is an heir to classical Modernism whose sharp, angular works reflect the surgical precision of his thinking. Mr. Miralles, who died from a brain tumor six years ago at 45, was a sensualist whose curvaceous forms imbued architecture with a lost sense of pleasure.

    What unites the two is their easy relationship with history, the elegance with which they balance contemporary values with the past. For some, Mr. Moneo's City Hall may bring to mind the rigid geometry of Giuseppe Terragni's 1936 Casa del Fascio in Como, Italy. Both buildings overlook old cathedrals — Terragni's medieval, Mr. Moneo's Baroque. Yet in their irregular rhythms, the stone piers of Mr. Moneo's version are musical, gently liberating us from the gloomy legacy of the Dark Ages without sacrificing any of its warmth.

    Mr. Miralles's design, the renovation of an existing food market in the city's decrepit Gothic quarter, is equally refined but more fluid. Its wavy tile roof, decorated in pink, green and blue splotches, is draped over the market's old neo-Classical sheds like a delicate handkerchief. It's a joyful, almost childishly simple gesture that brings a historic site to life without mimicking its forms.

    Across the gallery, in a model for an expansion of the Institute of Modern Art in Valencia by the Japanese firm Sanaa, the past is literally boxed in. A milky white translucent shell encloses a replica of the museum's existing 1980's-era building. The older museum will house art, and the spaces between the two will become a vast public forum packed with a lobby, a restaurant and offices. Too old to be fashionable and too young to be considered a landmark, the original building is treated like a curiosity, a relic of the 80's preserved in a glass jar for the inspection of later generations.

    All three projects hint at the sophistication many Spanish cities have shown in dealing with their cultural heritage. Confronting that history has sparked the kind of lively creative dialogue that is rare in cities like ours, so often fixated on black-and-white preservation squabbles.

    Sanaa's design, for example, could be read as a retort to Mr. Moneo's 1985 Museum of Roman Art in Mérida, site of some of the best-preserved ruins in Europe. Mr. Moneo's building, a brick and concrete shell resting on heavy pillars over existing ruins, conveys both the weight of history and the violent clash of past and present.

    Sanaa's diaphanous glass shell in Valencia suggests a world in which both our present and our understanding of the past are fleeting and ethereal.

    (Unfortunately, the exhibits in the show never give you a visceral sense of the architects' exquisite use of materials, from Mr. Moneo's luxurious sandstone to Mr. Miralles's tile and Sanaa's creamy glass.)

    From there, the show drifts off into too many directions. One of its barely explored themes is the innovative public housing that continues to rise in Spain, most of it commissioned by local governments. In a sensitive project by Abalos & Herreros of Madrid, four elegant glass residential towers are arranged in a gentle arc to take advantage of views of nearby wetlands. But nothing in the show betrays that the design was chosen through a government-sponsored competition — the kind of contest that might surprise New Yorkers who expect public housing to be dreary, and dehumanizing.

    Other threads are picked up and dropped. A photograph of the interior of Richard Rogers's wonderful Barajas Airport terminals in Madrid, scheduled to open later this year, gives us an inkling of the project's structural potency.

    Its undulating roof, supported on big, V-shaped braces and pierced by giant oculi, evokes the lightness of Henri Labrouste's 19th-century National Library in Paris.

    The project was financed partly by the European Union, which has pumped more than $110 billion into Spain's infrastructure since 1986. The money has gone toward roads, bridges, train stations and airport terminals, many designed by first-rate talents. Yet little here hints at the vast scale of the undertaking.

    Instead, there is the usual array of high-profile designs by star architects.

    There is a zippy office block in Durango by Zaha Hadid that looks as if it were scooped out of the earth, where it connects to underground train tracks, and a less promising congress center by Rem Koolhaas in the shape of a long, narrow steel bar. Perhaps the most recognizable building is Jean Nouvel's Agbar Tower in Barcelona, whose phallic form, in an uneven pattern of colored glass, suggests comical urban swordplay.

    But it's the younger, lesser-known talents who regularly hold your attention. One of the most captivating projects is a 135-room hotel by the 37-year-old architect Enric Ruiz-Geli. The core of the building, set at the edge of a long urban park on Barcelona's outskirts, is a tinted glass-and-steel box — the very picture of Bauhaus-inspired functionalism. A steel web embedded with 6,000 or so photovoltaic cells is draped over the box, as if it were trapped in a fishnet.

    The cells, which Mr. Ruiz-Geli compares to computerized leaves, will provide shade during the day. At night, they glow in varying shades of green, yellow, blue or red, depending on how much sunlight they absorbed during the day — a natural Arcadia reimagined by Microsoft.

    Other young architects in the show seem equally absorbed by the collision of man and nature. In a small house by the 41-year-old Eduardo Arroyo set into a steep hillside outside Madrid, some of the forms cantilever like heavy branches and split apart to fit between existing trees. A museum in Santander by Emilio Tuñón and Luis M. Mansilla, a more established firm, is composed of repetitive cell-like forms. Its jagged roof echoes the silhouette of surrounding mountains and funnels light down into the galleries.

    One of the loveliest surprises in "On Site" is a design for a spa and hotel complex in Gijón, a small former mining town in the north. The architects, Francisco Leiva Ivorra, 33, and Marta García, 31, are the youngest in the show, and the influence of older architects like Alvaro Siza and Ms. Hadid is obvious. Yet the project has an intuitive feel for both its physical surroundings and the scale of the human body.

    Mr. Ivorra has compared the complex, at one end of a public beach, to a salamander curled up in the sun. Its smooth form also evokes a stone that has been polished by the movements of the sea. Pedestrians will be able to proceed from the city's boardwalk to a walkway along the building's roof that ends with a stunning view of the historic city center. Below, water flows through a narrow channel from the sea to a central pool. The roof is pierced by a series of slots, allowing light to reflect off secondary pools and onto the building's underbelly.

    You sense a balance of conflicting urges toward solitude and engagement with the outside world, the longing for public interaction and for sensual intimacy. There are no wasted gestures, none of the clamoring for visual attention that infects so much contemporary architecture.

    Mr. Ivorra and Ms. García are too young to remember the era of Franco, who died in 1975; their design has a lightness of touch free of dark memories. It makes clear that the political boundaries that long separated Spain from the rest of the world have utterly melted away.

    The question, of course, is how long this creative bloom will endure. Such explosions of creativity, no matter how intense, naturally fade after time.
    And there are already signs that Spain is becoming more like everyplace else, collecting international talents the way Roman popes once collected artists.

    What's fascinating about Spanish cities is how fertile they have proven as training ground for brilliant architectural talents of their own.

    MoMA's exhibition demonstrates that such nurturing continues. This — and only this — makes the show feel fresh and worthwhile.

    Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Architects
    A rendering of Casa Horitzó in La Vall de Bianya, Girona.

  3. #3


    The Wall Street Journal

    Spain's Building Boom
    By Ada Louise Huxtable
    20 April 2006

    Terence Riley, the organizer of the Museum of Modern Art's current exhibition, "On Site: New Architecture in Spain" (on view until May 1), has left his position as Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, after 15 years of close involvement with MoMA's destiny, to become the director of the Miami Art Museum. As his final curatorial gesture, he has given us a splendid survey of new Spanish work that highlights what the museum has always done so well: the selective presentation of a knowledgeable, insightful, impeccably produced summary of an important area of the arts informed by a specific point of view.

    It appears that Mr. Riley has made his move at a definitive moment in his own and the museum's careers. It has become depressingly clear with the completion of its new building that MoMA has ended an era of lively personal relationships with the art and mysteries of modernism to become a sedate high-ticket institution of predictable corporate culture and safe social chic. It feels like an old friend who is suddenly rich and remote after moving into expensive new digs. Who knew that its destiny would look like this?

    "On Site: New Architecture in Spain" focuses on that country's extraordinary building boom of the past 20 years in the kind of large-scale treatment of the newest and best that we have come to expect from MoMA's architecture programs.

    All of the examples are recent; of the 53 buildings on view, 18 have been completed since 2000, and 35 are under construction now. They include museums, hospitals, libraries, cultural centers, stadiums, auditoriums, social housing and new structures for transportation and tourism. An infusion of about $110 billion from the European Union over the past two decades has modernized the country's infrastructure with the addition of roads, bridges, airports and train stations. The scale and variety of the new work ranges from a small pedestrian way providing elegant access for a dramatic walkway that runs atop the Teruel city walls, to an enormous airport, the Barajas Terminals in Madrid, the largest construction in Europe when it was being completed earlier this year.

    Both were designed by British architects -- the pedestrian path by David Chipperfield in collaboration with b720 Arquitectos, and the airport by Richard Rogers Partnership with Estudio Lamela. Although the majority of the buildings are by Spanish architects, there is a full representation of international celebrity names, with projects by the Swiss firm of Herzog and deMeuron; Toyo Ito, of Japan; Rem Koolhaas, from the Netherlands; and the American Frank Gehry, who put Spain at the center of everyone's vision with the astoundingly successful Guggenheim in Bilbao.

    A number of factors have come together to make this architectural revolution possible. The reinstitution of democracy after the Franco dictatorship, Spain's entry into the European Union in 1986, and the Seville World's Fair and the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 accelerated a massive building program that has also become a creative laboratory for modern architecture. The sheer quantity is impressive, but the quality is remarkable.

    One of the first things the visitor sees is a large photograph of the undulating, colorful tile roof by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue that unites the old buildings of the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona; this sets a cheerful tone of optimism and renewal. Color murals by photographer Roland Halbe document the completed structures. There are seductive models of everything in the show, in pristine white as fresh as the architects' ideas, or the suave silver that is the latest fashion. People linger delightedly at the Hotel Habitat by Enric Ruiz-Geli with Cloud 9 Acconci Studio and Ruy Ohtake, a miniature simulacrum of a proposed four-star hotel for Barcelona covered with a web of 5,000 winking light-emitting diodes, or LEDS, powered by solar cells for a nighttime display of glowing colors.

    Housing designs have rotating towers to absorb and use sun for heating and cooling; decentralized health facilities are small and inviting, like the center built in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, by Mario Corea and Lluis Moran, a simple, attractive building of meticulous Corbusian detail. Sports facilities include a multicolored soccer stadium in Barakaldo, Vizcaya, by Eduardo Arroyo of NO.MAD Arquitectos, and arts facilities are in such far-flung locations as La Coruna in the northwest region of Galicia, which boasts two new museums -- a combined dance and art building by Victoria Acebo and Angel Alonso, and a tiny high-tech marvel of a museum just completed by the British architect Nicholas Grimshaw, too late for inclusion. A full array of dramatically experimental designs, some scheduled for production, but all unrealized as yet, adds excitement and adventure to the selection.

    The survey reveals a vital period of innovation and experimentation in Spain, but it also tells us something important about the state of architecture today. This is the work of a gifted younger generation that has moved beyond the trivialization of postmodern cuteness, the fashionable deprivations of extreme minimalism, and the conceptual tunnel vision of the hard-core techies. These architects are engaging what and how we build in terms of the achievements of the 20th-century revolution in aesthetics and technology and the equally revolutionary opportunities provided by incredibly rapid developments in materials and computer-aided building technologies. This appears to be the moment of consolidation and advance that has followed the thoughtfully reconceived work of a preceding generation in Spain led by architects like Rafael Moneo, whose landmark structures are also in the show.

    Researching the 1980s recently, I went through a vast pile of professional journals and was struck by the difference between then and now, how appallingly thin, tentative, falsely contextual and philosophically pretentious the work was 20 years ago, while busily declaring itself the new wave. I remember that my inclination at the time was simply to disengage and wait for sanity to return. The new Spanish work is a creative exploration of handsome and appropriate ways to build for the 21st century.

    Ms. Huxtable is the Journal's architecture critic.

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    This exhibit of new Spanish Architecture at MoMA is fantastic ...

    A MUST SEE for anyone interested in Architecture.

    Now through MAY 1 only ...

    Although it might make us Americans very SAD to see what is NOT happening here

  5. #5


    Seeing MoMA Through An Architect's Eyes
    June 22, 2006

    For the Museum of Modern Art's "Artist's Choice" series, a guest curator - usually an artist - selects and organizes work drawn from the museum's permanent collection. "Perception Restrained," a bewitching experiment conducted by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, opened yesterday and is the eighth such show since the series began in 1989.

    Having designed, among many other buildings, the Tate Modern in London, the Schaulager in Basel, and the recent expansions of both the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the de Young in San Francisco, Herzog & de Meuron, as they are known, are exceptionally well-versed in the idioms, needs, and challenges of museum architecture. No surprise, then, that they decided to make their exhibition much less about the work chosen than about its presentation.

    "Our project," they write, "is an attempt to offer a spatial alternative to the existing galleries ... a site of heightened concentration and density that functions like a kind of perception machine." Although I was skeptical at first, I can assure you that their machine - really a museum in miniature - will catalyze all sorts of thoughts about art and how we look at it. "By obstructing and putting pressure on perception," they continue, "the installation intensifies the viewing experience and makes it more enduring, more selective, and more individual."

    Like MoMA itself, their machine is divided by medium: painting and sculpture, photography, design - each in its own room. Yet Herzog & de Meuron give pride of place to film - not, they stress, from their own predilections but instead reflecting a societal shift. Then again they're not entirely in thrall to the zeitgeist: In the more than 100 works on view, there are no works of video art, per se.

    One enters a fairly large, rectangular gallery painted entirely black. For seating, there are five rows of bare, unpainted wooden benches on which have been placed small, beautifully designed round mirrors. A grid of 15 LCD monitors showing fragments of films is mounted on the ceiling is mounted-an ingenious homage to the ceiling frescoes of Romanesque churches. One can pick out parts of "Fargo," "Apocalypse Now," Paul Morrissey's "Flesh," "Trash," and "Heat," among others. The mirrors allow visitors to sit and watch the films without having to look up for extended periods. Also, the bits of film make, in Herzog & de Meuron's words, "explicit reference to violence, drama, and sex," and watching them in little mirrors causes the experience to be at once more intimate and more abstract. The few subtitles are reversed and thus unreadable.

    Into three of the walls, narrow rectangular slits have been cut, and it is through these that one looks at the other works on view. On the other side, are crammed - and hung salon style - paintings and sculpture, photographs, and objects chosen from the museum's collection: It's like looking into a duck blind to see the art.

    Strange as that might sound, the set-up in fact produces shifts in what one notices. Because one has to bend and strain to see certain areas of the interior galleries, various aspects of the work are intensified. Each of these galleries is a shallow rectangle, echoing the shape of the slits.

    The shape of the painting and sculpture room heightens the three dimensionality of Pablo Picasso's cardboard "Maquette for Guitar" (1912) and emphasizing the tallness of Alberto Giacometti's "Man Pointing" (1947). The lateral extension of a 1967 Donald Judd sculpture, affixed to a side wall, both compliments and magnifies the pair of Robert Gober legs (1991) jutting from the adjacent wall at floor level.

    In the photography section, the shallow depth reinforces the sense of lying down in Cindy Sherman's "Untitled #96 (Girl on Linoleum Floor)" (1981). Above it, the horizontal character of the three prints in Hiroshi Sugimoto's virtually abstract "Adriatic Sea, Gargano I" (1990) winningly rhymes with the Judd in the previous room as well as Richard Prince's untitled, double-print portrait of Cindy Sherman (1980) hung nearby.

    Ironically for an exhibition curated by architects, the format least serves the design section, in part because it forces them to present the objects in staid rows. Design objects, one learns, suffer from such a regimented and strictly frontal display: It feels cramped and sterile, and one gets little sense of the use-value of these chairs and tumblers and lamps.

    Herzog & de Meuron were among the three finalists in the MoMA redesign competition, though they eventually lost. One can't help thinking that this project contains an implicit criticism of the design MoMA got: Even in their statement they write about how the collection is "professionally illuminated, impossible to overlook - but it is not seen." Still, it is criticism of the best kind: gentle, constructive, and a revelation to experience.

    Until September 25 (11 W. 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, 212-708-9400).

  6. #6


    Build It Black
    Sex, violence, and noir walls at Herzog & de Meuron’s strange new MoMA show.

    By Alexandra Lange

    Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron lost out in the MoMA expansion competition, but now they’re getting to design something at MoMA all the same. Starting June 21, their show, “Artist’s Choice: Herzog & de Meuron, Perception Restrained,” will transform one 2,650-square-foot gallery into a black-walled box lined with benches and filled with art from the permanent collection. The first architects to participate in MoMA’s “Artist’s Choice” series, the partners picked everything from Eva Zeisel porcelain to Francis Bacon’s portrait of Blake to Tupperware—and then embedded it within the inky walls, the works visible only through horizontal slots. As for the benches, they’re to better view film clips that are projected, in short bursts of Warhol sex and Scorsese violence, on the ceiling. The architects aren’t willing to call all this a critique of the museum’s design—but how else to interpret a space so aesthetically opposed to MoMA’s acres of white walls? Alexandra Lange spoke with Herzog.

    You had access to almost anything in MoMA’s collection. What made you install the art in this way?
    Strangely, even now that there is more space to display all the stuff in the new building, you hardly see it. Doing an installation that restrains your perception—you have to make a bigger effort both intellectually and physically to perceive it—that was [our] main idea.

    What’s the story with the movies on the ceiling?
    This ceiling could be seen as a historic reference to the painted ceilings of Romanesque churches of the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, where the history of our lives and our past is described.

    I was especially interested that you used the film Fargo.
    Why, do you like this?

    Yes, I love it. I think it is hysterical.
    It is terrible, somehow—frightening. This idea of harmony and abstraction and form that is very often displayed at MoMA is juxtaposed with sudden terror and death. And I think this is something that is very rarely displayed in a museum. The blood and the sex on the ceiling are so much more closely related to our daily reality than the kind of art which we understand to be in the MoMA.

    Were these the issues that you thought about when you were competing to design the new MoMA?
    No, no, no. We developed this in more recent designs for museums, for the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton and for a new project we just won in Zaragoza, a Goya [gallery in a] museum.

    What do you think of the new MoMA?
    I am not so interested in answering that kind of question. I think the design they have gotten is quite exactly what they wanted, which is within the tradition of the history of the museum.

    Why did you put Tupperware in your exhibit?
    Why do you ask me about Tupperware? Why not about chairs?

    Chairs are something that architects often design. Tupperware is not something people connect with serious architecture.
    I think it is as serious as anything else. Honestly, I am not interested in design at all, whether it is a chair or a table. It fits well because of the size and the proportion. That’s basically it.

    Do you collect anything yourself?
    Actually, I hate collections. I like to produce new things. We have many artworks that are left over from collaborations with artists—a lot of Ruff and Gursky, Richter, Beuys. They are somewhere in the office.

    What is it like working for Ian Schrager on 40 Bond downtown?
    It is a condo building, which is certainly not something we would like to do all the time. But it is not commercial in the sense that it is squeezing out every dollar from the building just to sell a name.

    Are these condominiums designed by famous architects a fad?
    Architects have become global brands, so that is why these architects are being picked.

    Surely there must be a benefit to being a global brand.
    It is interesting to be relatively free in accepting or not accepting commissions everywhere in the world. It is part of the game to pick the right commissions.

    Are there any other sites in New York where you’d like to build?
    There are very few uninteresting places here. Let’s say if you took acupuncture as a way to discover a city, to discover hot spots, New York has many of those acupuncture points. In other cities, wherever you put the pin, they have not much life to discover.

  7. #7


    June 30, 2006
    Art Review
    Once Again, Herzog & de Meuron Offer Their Vision of the MoMA

    Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron's exhibition begins in a black space with movie images playing above.

    Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron should not relinquish their day jobs as high-profile architects in order to become curators or installation artists anytime soon. Their Artist's Choice exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art is perverse, cerebral and probably the most elaborate one-liner you're likely to encounter this summer. Nothing less should be expected from an effort titled "Perception Restrained," which jams artworks into extra-large wall niches almost entirely sealed from view. But that doesn't mean it won't make people think.

    The show is a form of institutional critique, drawn in broad, accessible strokes, aimed at the exceedingly prominent cultural institution in which it is located. It is also a postmodern intervention using the world's premier collection of modern art. If both conventions are a tad shopworn by now, they are partly revitalized by the show's much-debated site, the newly expanded Museum of Modern Art. Whether intended or not, a few points hit home.

    MoMA should be commended for inviting this Swiss team to do an Artist's Choice exhibition. After all, Herzog & de Meuron, as their firm is known, reached the final three in the competition to design the Modern's latest expansion, but the commission went to Yoshio Taniguchi. A little snapping at the hand that didn't feed them was probably to be expected.

    In the exhibition brochure the architects state that the show is about "the act of perception itself," which is consistent with the Artist's Choice format. (The series began in 1989 with Scott Burton's exhibition of Brancusi's bases as sculptures in their own right.)

    Despite the riches of the Modern's collection and the "spectacular galleries of the new extension," they write, there is a lack of "perceptive attention on the part of museum visitors." In New York magazine last week, an interviewer asked Mr. Herzog what he thought of the new MoMA. His reply was as meticulous and subtle as a Herzog & de Meuron building: "I think the design they have gotten is quite exactly what they wanted, which is within the tradition of the history of the museum."

    But the problem of people looking at art without comprehending it in any meaningful way is one that has been passionately discussed for decades. To try to address it, as the show does, so bluntly and site-specifically seems bold.

    The show starts bold in a standard way by looking dim and empty. The walls are blank and painted black; the space is filled with rows of benches. Yes, it is the black box of video art, except that the medium-size screens are on the ceiling. They endlessly replay excerpts from more than a dozen golden oldies, including nearly 14 minutes of "Apocalypse Now," nearly two of "Bonnie and Clyde," one minute exactly of "Taxi Driver" and 55 seconds of "Fargo." Each scene features an act of sex, violence or high drama; hand-held mirrors encased in comfy soft rubber facilitate viewing.

    Sequestered within the niches are a total of 110 works of art and design, displayed cheek to jowl and visible only through wide horizontal slots. The slots, the one-spot viewing, the King Tut density conjure up the museum as art bunker, panopticon or bank vault. Or perhaps castle keep: crossbows and vats of boiling oil come to mind.

    Everything is strictly segregated in classic MoMA style. One niche for architecture and design, one for painting and sculpture, one for photography. And everything is pretty familiar, tried and true, sanctified MoMA. Through the design slot you'll see all or part of Ettore Sottsass's red Olivetti typewriter of 1969, a swatch of William Morris's Strawberry Thief printed fabric from 1883 and examples of stackable side chairs by Charles Eames, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton. There is a touch of self-reference: the model for Herzog and de Meuron's Minimalist railroad switching depot for Basel, Switzerland, a handsome box in louvered copper that is one of their best-known structures.

    The photography niche concentrates on postwar images by well-known photojournalists and setup photographers: Diane Arbus, Robert Adam, William Eggleston, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman, Gregory Crewdson, Oliver Boberg and Rineke Dijkstra. The presentation looks like dozens of recent salon-style photography shows.

    And the painting and sculpture sarcophagus presents an impeccable array of blue-chip (Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol) and gold-chip, including a Cézanne self-portrait, Balthus's hypnotic late 1930's portrait of Miró and his daughter, the paper maquette for Picasso's cut-metal guitar. Art's tumultuous present is accounted for in purely bankable terms with sculptures by Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Matthew Barney, Charles Ray and Bruce Nauman. The show's best, visual moment: the sideways view of the wholesome nakedness of Mr. Ray's "Family Romance" seen through the kinky, curving forms of Mr. Barney's "Cabinet of Baby Fay La Foe."

    And that is the catch. There is not much visual reward for submitting to all the perceptual restraints, which is especially noticeable if you wander into an adjacent gallery in which the museum's curators, surely not by chance, have installed James Rosenquist's 1964-65 mural, "F-111." Lining three walls with its barbed juxtapositions of Pop images and burning colors, it does wonders for "attentive perception."

    In the brochure the architects claim that their selections are nothing personal; they simply reflect "an undeniable shift that has taken place in recent years." The sensationalism of movies has become dominant while art objects are perceived only when packaged into blockbuster formats.

    Forgetting that you may spend more time in this show craning to see the art than the movies, this is a jaded if not inaccurate complaint. Society has become spectacularized, but the degree to which the spectacle of movies has reduced, or desensitized, the audience for the spectacle of museums is debatable. Today more people probably spend more time looking at more art than in any era in the history of the world.

    The challenge to help museum visitors get more from their visits is shared, foremost by museum trustees, architects and curators, and usually in that order, at least in the United States. Herzog & de Meuron's museum designs, with their generous spaces, careful details and quiet forms, have proven their ability to help meet this challenge and enhance perceptive attention. In "Perception Restrained" they mostly sit on their hands and smirk.

    Still, as the first architects to organize an Artist's Choice exhibition, they understandably may have a different agenda. Basically, Herzog & de Meuron have sucked the space out of the MoMA's vaunted displays in order to demonstrate, in a paraphrase of Roy, the murderous android of "Blade Runner," that space is the problem — how much and what kind distributed for which purposes.

    Their claustrophobic displays clarify realizations you may have walking through MoMA's crowded galleries these days. How the Modern has more great art than many of us will ever get to know deeply. How this art is still too often demurely segregated according to medium. And how, most of all, despite the ravishing exterior of the Taniguchi building, the new interior feels labyrinthine, sterile, impersonal and, most distressing of all, already too small for its permanent collection, its temporary exhibitions and its expanding public.

    Intentionally or not, this show is a form of self-promotion executed by Mr. Herzog and Mr. de Meuron in what may be the most important building they did not get to design. I believe more and more that if they had, their Museum of Modern Art would be sturdier and less expensive, and more idiosyncratic, spacious and hospitable than the one we have. Their Artist's Choice may not do much to reinforce that feeling, but it doesn't diminish it either. Consolation prizes cannot be expected to bring out the best in people.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  8. #8


    Summergarden 2006: New Music for New York
    Free concerts in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden
    Sundays, July 9–August 13, 8:00 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971 to enhance the artistic life of New York City during the summer. In keeping with MoMA's history of presenting jazz and classical music in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, this year's Summergarden series welcomes the participation of two constituents from Lincoln Center—The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center—with concerts on alternating Sundays. New Music for New York presents six evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night.

    Juilliard concerts are performed by current students and recent graduates of the Juilliard School, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs, who has assembled three distinctive programs of contemporary compositions, all of which are enjoying their New York, United States, or world premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center selected three leading jazz artists whose concerts will emphasize original works, with at least one world premiere.

    Admission to Summergarden is free. Chairs are limited and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Admittance to the Sculpture Garden is subject to close if attendance reaches maximum capacity. Entrance is through the Garden gate on Fifty-fourth Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Garden opens at 7:00 p.m. and concerts start at 8:00 p.m.

    In the event of rain, concerts will be held indoors in The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby. The entrance is also on Fifty-fourth Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues and doors open later, at 7:30 p.m.

    July 23
    Juilliard Concert II: Music for Mixed Ensembles

    July 30
    Jazz: The Marty Ehrlich Sextet: News On The Rail

    August 6
    Juilliard Concert III: Music for String Quartet

    August 13
    Jazz: Brandon Ross and Blazing Beauty

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    MoMA Exterior To Be Turned Into Outdoor Movie Screen

    NY 1
    July 25, 2006

    The city is welcoming a special art installation this winter that will turn the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan into an outdoor movie screen.

    The glass and concrete building that houses MoMA is expected to draw thousands of visitors in January when a film is projected onto the museum's façade. It's the first free public art exhibit by artist Doug Aitken here in the United States.

    Aitken’s film for MoMA will center on the stories of five New Yorkers, with all of the scenes filmed in the city.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the he's thrilled about the upcoming exhibit, which he expects to attract tourists during an otherwise slow season.

    The artist says his film will give people a new perspective on their relationship with the city.

    “I was very interested in looking at these very quiet, intimate moments and seeing if they could expand across buildings and kind of represent people inside them instead of always looking out and seeing cold glass, steel and concrete,” Aitken said at a news conference Tuesday.

    “Great art brings people out of hibernation, and Doug's project is certain to be the kind of exciting artistic eveny to draw tourists to our city,” said the mayor.

    The free film project will run from dusk to 10 p.m. every day for about a month beginning next year on January 16th.

    Big public art projects can mean big money for the city. Perhaps emboldened by the success of "The Gates," the city is throwing its weight behind a very different winter public art program. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed this report.

    The Museum of Modern Art spent more than $400 million transforming itself back in 2004, and now $1 million will be spent to transform MoMA once again. This time it's not expanding or renovating - artist Doug Aitken is turning the museum's exterior into a work of art.

    “I think the project itself began with a desire to really find a way to bring people's lives into the buildings of Midtown,” says the artist.

    And this winter, that's what Aitken will do. Not inside the museum, but outside, as he projects a series of films onto the exterior.

    On Tuesday, Aitken, MoMA, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials announced details of the upcoming project.

    “The exceptional work which will envelop MoMA's building with continuous sequences of film scenes will feature the stories of five New Yorkers and will be filmed entirely in our city,” said Bloomberg.

    Aitken says the fictional characters represent the entire city.

    “One of the characters is a worker who works inside the signs of Times Square, and his whole life is electricity and light and pulsing energies,” says the artist. “Someone else is a bicycle messenger who lives a very kind of raw, tactile life.”

    Those stories will be projected at night onto the exterior of the Museum of Modern Art and Folk Art Museum from dusk to 10 p.m. every day for about a month beginning January 16th of next year.

    The project was commissioned by MoMA and the public art organization Creative Time.

    “As our city is populated with commercial messages, art is great way for the people of the city, the citizens and its visitors to be spoken to in a way that's not just, ‘Buy, buy, buy,’” says Creative Time President Anne Pasternak.

    This is first time MoMA is doing any kind of exterior art projections. But perhaps even more exciting to some, admission is free.

    “This project is just a way for us to engage with the city in a new way and to say thank you,” says MoMA Director Glenn Lowry. “And we're thrilled that we can do it for free.”

    But don't forget your wallet. The city hopes this large scale public art event will help wake the sleepy post-holiday winter tourist season.

    “Great art brings people out of hibernation, and Doug's project is certain to be the kind of exciting artistic event to draw tourists to our city,” says the mayor.

    While you'll have to wait until January for the Doug Aitken project, every Friday night at the MoMA is still pay what you wish.

    - Stephanie Simon

    Copywright 2006 NY1 News

  10. #10


    Having to suffer in the cold will enhance the experience.

  11. #11
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown

    Default Koolhaas + Scheeren at MoMA

    OMA in Beijing:
    China Central Television Headquarters
    by Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas

    © OMA 2006
    Pictured above:
    OMA/Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas. CCTVTVCC.
    View from Dong San Huan Road, Beijing
    (computer generated image).

    Architecture and Design Galleries
    November 15, 2006–February 26, 2007

    This exhibition presents one of the most innovative architecture projects under construction today. Scheduled to open for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the complex, which comprises three buildings and a media park situated on a site east of Beijing's Forbidden City, embodies a proposal for social and urban change through a rethinking of the tall building. CCTV is a private building that will have a uniquely public Visitor's Loop, while its mirror image — TVCC, or the Television Cultural Center — is a public structure housing a state-of-the-art broadcasting theater, cultural facilities, and a five-star hotel.

    The international architectural partnership Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) won the competition for its design in 2002, and the project broke ground in 2004, with OMA partner Ole Scheeren leading its design and execution. The immersive installation explores the project's internal complexity and richness, its integration of public and private uses, and its structural innovation through an array of graphics, renderings, and explanatory texts as well as large- and small-scale models,many of them presented publicly here for the first time. A selection of architectural drawings from MoMA's collection will situate the project as one of the most visionary undertakings in the history of modern architecture.

    Organized by Tina di Carlo, Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, and Alexandra Quantrill, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

  12. #12
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    The OMA in Beijing exhibit at MoMA is small but well laid out -- and full of fascinating info.

    For example when first working out the overall scheme for the CCTV / TVCC project -- and as a way to better understand the way that the site should function -- the OMA team overlaid a pixelated 18th Century plan of Rome by Piranesi over a rendering of the site. The arrangement of the pixels were then translated into specific use-areas for the project -- both within the building and on the surrounding grounds.

    A recent article from Business Week:

    CCTV by OMA

    Dutch Architects on Chinese TV

    Rem Koolhaas’ architectural firm OMA, led by partner Ole Scheeren, is half way to completing a controversial, multi-building project in the heart of Beijing

    By Helen Walters

    All images © OMA / Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas

    The China Central Television building (CCTV) is the most ambitious project undertaken to date by international architecture office, OMA. Overseen by firm partner, Ole Scheeren, the project’s site stretches over some 20 hectares in Beijing’s Central Business District and comprises two distinctly different building designs. The iconic form of the main CCTV building is in itself a radically different proposition from a traditional skyscraper, offering a three dimensional, looped edifice that seems to defy gravity. The companion Television Culture Center (TVCC), on the other hand, is a comparatively low-slung building housing cultural facilities and a hotel. OMA has been working on the project since 2002, while construction continues 24/7 in order to meet the immovable deadline of the 2008 Olympic Games.

    Hands and Minds Together

    With a budget of five billion RMB, the CCTV building stretches over 465,000 square meters. The design of the building is intended to reflect the collaborative nature of the work of the broadcaster. The buildings’ two towers slope at an angle of six degrees – in different directions — joined at the top by a cantilevered penthouse floor that will be occupied by CCTV management. CCTV is China’s largest national TV network, currently producing 15 channels. When the new building opens, it will broadcast 250 channels and all aspects of television production will be contained within the space. “The brains will know what the hands are doing,” says Scheeren.

    Difficult Connections

    Photograph from August of this year showing the construction’s progress. The loop of the building will be joined in summer, 2007. “That will be the most difficult, critical moment in construction,” says Ole Scheeren, drily. OMA’s analysis showed that the two towers should be joined at 5 a.m., the moment when the sun has been out of sight for the most hours. The presence of the sun would create differential heat stresses — certain parts of the structure would be in the shade, others in the sun, leading to tensions that would make the connecting more difficult.

    Exponential Teamwork

    Another shot of construction progress from August, 2006. In all, more than 400 designers have worked on the project, while OMA has collaborated with international and local partners (Arup, London/Hong Kong/Beijing and the East China Architecture & Design Institute in Shanghai). Initially, however, Ole Scheeren worked on the buildings’ design with Rem Koolhaas and three other architects. “It was a tiny team that tried to define the essential parameters of the project,” he explains. “We tried with full concentration to define the question before we branched out to include a larger team that could support the production and the making of the building.”

    Withstanding Air Pollution

    Many, many models were made of the various buildings that comprise the CCTV site. The environmental conditions of the city also exerted a crucial influence on the external appearance and design of the structure. “Sixty percent of the time the air in Beijing is dusty, milky and white,” says Scheeren. “It makes architecture look bad so we had to work out how to design a building that could withstand that environmental onslaught. The only buildings that seem to resist the conditions are those that aren’t finished but are wrapped in nylon. So we used glazing to make the building appear to be a solid structure from the outside, while it’s transparent from within.”

    Finally, the Workers

    The design of the lobby transcended usual architectural problems and dilemmas. It became an issue of how to process 30,000 people on a daily basis. With 99 elevators servicing the building, people flow is determined across three separate levels, while visitors check in at a different area from regular, everyday workers. “The theories of many OMA projects from the past 20 years have culminated in this project,” says Ole Scheeren.

    OMA's Race to Construct in China

    International architectural partnership OMA (of Rem Koolhaas fame) is relishing the challenge of building a new headquarters for China's national broadcaster
    by Helen Walters
    November 9, 2006


    For Ole Scheeren, the lead architect of the controversial new China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters in Beijing, the "eureka" moment came during a site visit in April, 2002. Touring the abandoned motorcycle factories that occupied the land, just east of the Forbidden City, he caught sight of an old billboard that read, "Adjust during development. Develop during adjustment."

    "This became the prophecy for the period and the motto of the entire project," recalls Scheeren, speaking by phone from OMA's offices in Rotterdam, where he has convened to update Rem Koolhaas and his four other partners on the project's progress (which can be seen in a show at MoMA in New York City, running from November 15 through February 26, 2007).

    CCTV represents the biggest, most ambitious project undertaken by OMA to date. With its 5 billion RMB (around $636 million) budget, the project nearly tripled everything the firm had built in the previous 25 years. It also represented the chance for OMA to make its mark on the fast-evolving Asian landscape, where marquee-name architects have been swarming in recent years.

    Problems on the New Frontier

    The responsibility for this was placed on the shoulders of Scheeren, the 35-year-old partner who had previously been responsible for the Prada Epicenters in Los Angeles and New York, and who moved to set up the OMA office in Beijing.

    It hasn't been an entirely smooth ride. From the moment OMA was awarded the contract, criticisms were leveled against the design, and many were skeptical that the building could or would ever be built. Rumors that the building would be shelved altogether have been persistent, as have suggestions that the reality of building in the "Wild West" of China would lead to serious structural problems down the line.

    "The project has been intense," Scheeren acknowledges. "CCTV was the first project we undertook in China, so we had to get to know the country and the client through research and investigation." And, he adds with dry understatement, their proposal was pretty extreme. "The engineering of the building is quite complex. Five years earlier, the building wouldn't have been possible, as the computational tools used in its design weren't sophisticated enough at that time.

    Multi-Cultural Thinking

    This presented a problem for both the design team and the Chinese authorities—how could they evaluate a building that essentially broke all codes? In the end, analysis and approval was granted by a panel of 13 structural engineers.

    All huge buildings present huge problems and dilemmas for their creators. In China, however, Western architecture companies face additional political and cultural issues, which require them to appreciate and be sensitive to the ideas, thoughts, and culture of a people whose lives and whose system of government have changed immeasurably within the past century alone. They also must acknowledge and appreciate their own biases and rationales.

    "China is a country with a long, complex history and an ambivalent recent past," says Scheeren. "It's also a country in the process of radical transformation, which has declared a true commitment to that transformation. It has the ability to deal with radicalism without regret, while there's a huge amount of sentimentality within European and Western culture. We carry real cultural baggage. A fifth of the world lives in China. It has the fastest growing economy in the world. Architecture can play a role here. It can be one of the prime engines in building the country."

    Designs for a New China

    As such, the proposed design for CCTV eschewed potentially patronizing "Asian" motifs or designs. Initially working only with Koolhaas and three other architects, Scheeren proposed a building which would forge a new type of structure, appropriate for the flourishing new culture. The building would also stand out on the horizon, on the day it opened and into the future. City planners predict that a forest of over 300 skyscrapers will emerge in Beijing in the next 12 years.

    As such, OMA needed to create a building that wouldn't be swallowed up or overwhelmed by the new structures. "There was this certainty that these other buildings would be there, so the project responded directly to this typology in terms of defining a new proposal for what a skyscraper could be," explains Scheeren.

    The building was also required to reflect the nature of its client. CCTV is China's largest national TV network, currently producing 15 channels. Once the building opens (in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2008), the production facilities housed within it will have the ability to broadcast 250 channels.

    Collaborative and Uniting

    "We needed to keep the buildings functional at all times," says Scheeren. "The arrival of increased digital technology increases the possibilities of communicating remotely, but there becomes less knowledge of other divisions and what they're doing. We believed that the physical reuniting of the workers would be an interesting proposition."

    And so the building unites the thousands of workers in one structure, which Scheeren describes lyrically as a "loop folded in space," with two towers sloping at an angle of six degrees — in different directions — joined at the top by a cantilevered penthouse floor to be occupied by CCTV management.

    The project team involved local talents from the very beginning, with two local general contractors chosen by the client. "We defined the design process as an intensely collaborative structure between Chinese architects and ourselves," says Ole Scheeren. "To build up the dialogue between the two sides, I made it a part of our contract with the client to insist that local architects would be on board from the very beginning." As such, 13 Chinese designers moved to live and work in Rotterdam for a year before groundbreaking, in 2004.

    Broadcast Relations

    With less than two years to go before the building must be fully functional, things could still go wrong, but Scheeren remains upbeat. "Despite the enormous complexities of a project at the forefront of what's technically possible, built in the ever-shifting context [of China], things have gone very successfully," he says.

    As we reported recently, all of the Olympic related projects within the city have gone like clockwork (see, 11/08/06, "Beijing Stadia on the Right Track"). But this is more than a stadium, race track, or swimming center. As the home of a national broadcaster, the new CCTV building has to send a very clear message to the nation — and the world.

    Helen Walters is the deputy channel editor for's Innovation and Design Channel.

    Copyright 2000-2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

  13. #13

    Default MoMA

    Anyone have photos of (the new) MoMA?

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Manhattan - South Village


    Photos can also be found in MoMA's expansion.

    After doing a Search, I'm noticing several MoMA threads, so to make it easier on people searching for "the MoMA thread", I'm merging this one, and moving it out of Events. (This is the second thread called "MoMA" started by AmericKenArtist, tsk tsk )

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